Last time I showed you the Practical use of CountIf with Google Docs Spreadsheet.

Today I’m showing a practical use of a function called Right that can help you in a lot of situations.

Consider this sample spreadsheet:

I’m using the above spreadsheet to keep track of my progress during online theoretical practice tests for my first driver’s license.

I like math so I wanted to know how many tests people have taken or how many tests have been served by the server since my last test.

The Right function is being used in the column named ‘’Tests since last’’ starting at the second practice test I’ve taken. For example, the actual formula in cell C4 is this:

C4 = right(B4, 7) - right(B3, 7)

Let’s break this thing and explain each piece:

B4 contains the URL that points to the practice test I took. In this case the URL is this:

http://www.provadetran.com.br/simulado_termino.php?simulado=4396981

As you see, there’s a number at the end of the URL. This number has 7 digits of length and is a sequential that identifies each test. This allows me to go to the test to review what I did right and what I did wrong at a later time.

Well, to answer that intriguing question I need to subtract this number from the number present in the URL just above cell B4, namely B3. Now look at the formula in cell C4 above. It does just that. The right function is giving me the last 7 characters of the URL. Last because it gets the characters from right to left. If you wanted to get the first 7 characters you’d use the left function instead.

The right function has this form: RIGHT(text, number). It defines the last character or characters in a text string. Text is the text of which the right part is to be determined. Number (optional) is the number of characters from the right part of the text.

Easy to understand, isn’t it?

Let’s do the math making the substitution of values:

C4 = right(B4, 7) - right(B3, 7)

C4 = 4396981 - 4396181

C4 = 800

Now I know that from the time I took the first practice test on 11/25 to the second test on the same day but at a different time 800 tests have been served. This is more of a curiosity metric than anything. I like math anyways. :o)

This was a simple and practical use of the right function that came in handy in this situation.